Journal of Visualization

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 643–651 | Cite as

Extraction of 3D vortex structures from a turbulent puff in a pipe using two-color illumination and flakes

  • Jumpei Ohkubo
  • Yuji Tasaka
  • Hyun Jin Park
  • Yuichi Murai
Regular Paper


A novel visualization technique was proposed to extract the three-dimensional vortex structure of a turbulent puff, which is a local turbulence event that is observed in pipe flows at relatively low Reynolds numbers. The technique is based on multi-color illumination of microscopic flakes that are suspended in the flow, which makes structural visualization more informative than conventional monochrome approaches. A special optical arrangement of two laser sheets, colored green and blue, was established for the circular pipe. Based on an image analysis sequence, the internal structure of the puff is reconstructed as a cross-sectional temporal 3D image consisting of voxels with unicolor degrees between green and blue, where an individual single vortex is extracted as a pair of two-color stripes. This allows quantification of the azimuthal wavenumber of the vortical structure that characterizes the puff. The wavenumber results agreed well with the results of previous studies, thus supporting the applicability of the proposed visualization technique.

Graphical Abstract


Pipe flow Turbulence transition Flow visualization Flake 



This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI through Grant No. 25420103. The authors would like to express their thanks for this support.


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jumpei Ohkubo
    • 1
  • Yuji Tasaka
    • 1
  • Hyun Jin Park
    • 1
  • Yuichi Murai
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Flow Control, Faculty of EngineeringHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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